The Childhood Adversity and Resilience (CARe) Research Team: Recent Media
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Associations of Harsh Physical Punishment and Child Maltreatment in Childhood with Antisocial Behaviors in Adulthood.

The aim of the study was to understand if harsh physical punishment (HPP) (i.e., pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting) with and without child maltreatment (CM) (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, and neglect) increased the likelihood that a person would have antisocial behaviours in adulthood. The data were from the United States and were representative of the population. Respondents were 18 years and older reporting retrospectively on childhood experiences. The sample size was large (n = 36,309). What we found was that those who experienced HPP only, CM only, and both HPP and CM all had increase likelihood of antisocial behaviours in adulthood. If we could eliminate all HPP and CM then it is estimated that antisocial behaviours in men and women might decrease by 45.5% and 47.3%, respectively in the United States. Prevention of HPP and CM needs to be a priority.

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Infographic "JAMA ANTISOCIAL"

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Bullying Victimization and Illicit Drug Use Among Students in Grades 7 to 12 in Manitoba, Canada; A Cross-Sectional Analysis, 2018.

We were interested to know the strength of the relationship between bullying victimization and illicit drug use among adolescents in Manitoba. This study measured different types of bullying victimization (physical, verbal and cyber) and different types of illicit drug use (marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, ecstasy, hallucinogens, and prescription/over-the-counter drugs used to get high) and looked at the results separately for boys and girls in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12. We found strong dose- response relationships between increased bullying victimization and increased drug use. Some results were stronger in the grade 7 to 9 compared to 10 to 12 and for girls compared to boys, indicating the need for early and sex-specific bullying intervention strategies.

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Spanking and adult mental health impairment: The case for the designation of spanking as an adverse childhood experience, 2017

In Canada, spanking is a legal form of child discipline, and not considered an adverse childhood experience (ACE). However, there is research to support the relationship between spanking and poor adult mental health. The purpose of this study was to determine if spanking should be considered an ACE by measuring the effect of spanking compared to physical and emotional abuse on adult mental health problems. We found that spanking and physical and emotional abuse were related to depressed affect, suicide attempt, heavy drinking and drug use. We also found that even after taking into account experiences of physical or emotional abuse, spanking was still related to adult mental health problems. These results show that spanking should be considered an ACE and should be replaced by alternate modes of child discipline.

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infographic "SPANKING IS HARMFUL"

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Association of Child Abuse Exposure With Suicidal Ideation, Suicide Plans, and Suicide Attempts in Military Personnel and the General Population in Canada, 2016

We wanted to know if a history of child abuse was more or less common among military personnel than the general population and how child abuse is related to suicidal behaviour. We found that a history of child abuse is more common among military personnel, with almost 50% reporting a history of any child abuse including physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or exposure to intimate partner violence. All type of child abuse were related to suicidal behaviour in adulthood, but surprisingly, these relationships were stronger for the general population comparted to military personnel.

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Child abuse and Mental Disorders in Canada, 2014

This study was the first of its kind to use representative data from across Canada to study the prevalence of child physical abuse, sexual abuse, exposure to intimate partner violence and any child abuse. This study found that 32% of adults in Canada report experiencing some type of abuse in childhood. Also, experiences of all type of child abuse were associated with all mental health conditions including suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.

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Harsh Physical Punishment in Childhood and Adult Physical Health, 2013

The purpose of this study was to look at the link between physical punishment (i.e. pushing, grabbing, shoving and hitting) in the absence of more severe child maltreatment and physical health conditions in adulthood. We found that experiencing physical punishment, even in the absence of other types of abuse, was linked to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and obesity.

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Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results from a Nationally Representative US Sample, 2012

The purpose of this study was to look at the link between physical punishment (i.e. pushing, grabbing, shoving and hitting) in the absence of more severe child maltreatment and mental health conditions in adulthood. This study found that physical punishment, even in the absence of other types of abuse, was related to mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse and several personality disorders.

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